PD uses technology to net another alleged drug dealer

Published 12:23 am Tuesday, March 31, 2009

E-mail and text messages brought another suspected drug dealer into where the Picayune Police Department could take him into custody.

The suspect, Thomas Rowan Gatewood, 44, of 4728 E. Crescent Lake Dr., Meridian, allegedly set up a deal with investigators of the department to meet in the north Winn-Dixie parking lot Thursday evening. Det. Mike Odom said the bust was set up through e-mail and text messages using a confidential informant.

A gram of methamphetamine was the product of the alleged sale and a perimeter was set up at the meet point with Odom, Det. Thomas Clark, Deputy Chief Bryan Dawsey, Lt. Jeremy Magri, Det. Ray Rikoll and Det. Constance Myers waiting for Gatewood to arrive, Odom said.

When Gatewood did arrive he was taken into custody and the suspected methamphetamine was confiscated, Odom said. Gatewood was charged with sale of a controlled substance within 1,500 feet of a school or church.

Odom said Gatewood’s vehicle will be confiscated since it was used to facilitate the alleged drug deal. Odom said this operation was part of Chief Jim Luke’s initiative to deter drug dealers from coming into the City of Picayune.

With methamphetamine becoming an epidemic in Pearl River County, Picayune Police Department’s Narcotic Unit is taking numerous measures to deter it’s use, Odom said.